We were standing just off the parking lot, looking across the lake where we could see our destination. “It should only take about three hours,” my hiking partner announced. It ended up taking closer to five. Why? The rule of thumb (aka Naismith’s Rule) for coming up with approximate hiking times is 1 hour for […]Read more "Estimating Hiking Times"
“We need your help with RT. Please see our Facebook page for important information (dr)” – tweeted by Glacier National Park (@glaciernps) this a.m. The message: an overdue staff member. The Facebook entry goes on to say: “We need your help. Glacier National Park seasonal employee Jacob “Jake” Rigby is overdue from a hike he began […]Read more "Social Media Another SAR Tool"
Protozoa, bacteria, viruses – oh my! When you go out into the backcountry today, it’s often necessary to treat your water before drinking. We’ve been using a pump action water filter for a few years now. It works well for large amounts of water, but it does require regular cleaning and maintenance. After each trip, […]Read more "Water Filters Versus UV Light Purifiers"
My daughter bought a brand-new bear spray holster for her dad after the last can slipped out of a neoprene sheath, hit a rock, punctured, and covered him in a miserable, pepper-laden mist while stuck on a rock face on a short scramble. Strike one for the neoprene sheath not doing its job. Strike two […]Read more "Gear Quality"
Six of us wanted to hike alpine; six wanted to summit mountains. Essentially that was the difference between the mountaineers and the alpine ramblers in our group of 12 last week. That – and the amount of gear each had to carry! While my hiking partners and I quickly set a route up to a […]Read more "Mountaineering"
It really wasn’t that hot the other day while out on a backpack trip – well below 90 Fahrenheit – but I was sweating. We stopped often to drink, but even with a brimmed hat and sunglasses, the sun in my face was too much. I was constantly thirsty and a headache quickly followed after […]Read more "Water – How Much Do You Need?"
Established backcountry campsites usually have bear poles or lockers. Steel cables with clips make it simple to hang food; as does stuffing your tucker into an animal-proof metal box. But what do you do when you are traveling off the beaten track? Bear Hangs It used to be considered enough to throw a rope over […]Read more "Bear Hangs and Canisters"
It was the beginning of July and we decided to throw our sleeping bags and bivy sacs in panniers and cycle/hike up to a nearby mountain ridge to watch the annual fireworks display. Nearing dusk, we found a spot to bivouac. Far off in the distance, a little storm caught our attention. Bolts of lightning […]Read more "Lightning Safety in the Great Outdoors"
A grizzly sow and three cubs – it was our lucky day! Of course the fact that we were in the car at the end of the day, instead of on the trail, made the whole experience slightly more enjoyable. Outdoor adventures in the summer increase chances of wildlife sightings. One of the best ways […]Read more "More Bear Basics"
High up on a steep alpine slope we saw them. Bear… diggings. Yup, nature’s rototiller was hard at work tearing up the alpine in search of a tasty morsel. You don’t have to see a bruin to know they’re around. As we head off down the path of summer, chances of coming across sign of […]Read more "Bear Basics"